With approximately $3 million up for grabs, the Arctic Inspiration Prize announces eight “by the North, for the North” finalists for the 2022 prize. Ranging in scope and focus, each project demonstrates the potential to generate lasting impact across Canada’s North. Inspiring, enabling and celebrating northern excellence and innovation, the AIP is the largest annual prize in Canada.

“On behalf of the Arctic Inspiration Prize Charitable Trust and our community of co-owners, partners and supporters, congratulations to each of the Finalists,” said Wally Schumann, Chair of the Arctic Inspiration Prize Charitable Trust. “I’m excited to see the innovation and creativity of each of these teams take centre stage as we move back to an in-person ceremony in February as part of the Northern Lights Business and Cultural Showcase where the Laureates will be announced. These teams represent the hopes and dreams of their communities and I am thrilled that we will be able to celebrate them all as a community, together once again.”



Team leader: Emily Angulalik

Geographic scope: Cambridge Bay, Nunavut (and beyond)

Kuugalak aims to build a highly customized language campus in Cambridge Bay, combining indoor and outdoor cultural activity areas, community-designed cultural production equipment, and experimental landscaping bridging green energy research with the growing of local plant species for climate adaptation, nutrition, and cultural use. It will be a site for free public programming that draws from deep reserves of Inuit and local knowledge to foster innovation. 

Pilimmaksaijuliriniq Project

Team leader: Adriana Kusugak

Geographic scope: Inuit Nunangat (Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Nunavut, Nunavik, Nunatsiavut)

The mental health and wellness crisis that is unfolding across Inuit Nunangat is a well-recognized public health crisis stemming from colonization. Ilitaqsiniq’s Pilimmaksaijuliriniq Project is an Inuit-designed, Inuit-led initiative developed in response to the National Inuit Suicide Prevention Strategy, the Inuusivut Anninaqtuq Nunavut Suicide Prevention Strategy, and the Alianait Inuit Mental Wellness Action Plan. Ilitaqsiniq’s Pilimmaksaijuliriniq Project proposes building additional mental health competencies and Inuit wellness traditional teachings into our programs that will support our community members who deliver community-based programming across Inuit Nunangat. This will support community organizers, community champions, activists and trainers who deliver community-based programming across Inuit Nunangat, with the goals of fostering, protecting and building the resilience of all community members.


Lessons from Our Elders

Team leader: Sharon Snowshoe

Geographical scope: Northwest Territories

Lessons from Our Elders proses to engage high school students in identifying historic artifacts cited in stories told by community Elders. The young people would then have the opportunity to travel to the museum housing those artifacts, observe how 3D scanning technology can be used to create a virtual copy of the artifacts, and interview an Elder, a storyteller who can place the artifacts in their cultural context. By working with ten communities over a one-year period, this project aims to produce a virtual exhibition with artifacts that most Northerners would otherwise never see, and stories that most Northerners would otherwise never hear. 

Shäwthän Näzhi: Recovery Support Program

Team leader: Diane Strand

Geographical scope: Yukon

Intergenerational trauma has heavily impacted First Nations communities. Yukon mental health agencies have concluded the after-care and recovery support following treatment must be prioritized. Shäwthän Näzhi: Recovery Support Program aims to provide intensive and on-going after care support following attendance at treatment programs. The year-long program will blend dynamic healing processes and will include animal and art therapy, energy and body healing, trauma and attachment therapies, and Indigenous ceremony, traditions and wisdom. The three-year Support Project will include capacity building within the Yukon Indigenous wellness practitioner community, an intensive recovery support program and model sharing combined with train the trainer implementation.


Team leader: Aleashia Echalook

Geographic scope: Nunavik

Nunavik organizations and communities have united to create a new, made-in-Nunavik research governance organization, named Atanniuvik, that will advance Nunavik Inuit self-determination in research. Nunavik is the only region in Inuit Nunangat without a centralized research approval process in place. This project will focus on building the human capacity at the heart of Atanniuvik’s operations, including ensuring that Atanniuvik is run by and for Inuit. This AIP project is critical for the success of Atanniuvik, but investment in Nunavik capacity for managing research will have significant long-term benefits that extend far beyond this project.


N’’tsaÜw Chu’ Kedts’edán Kù Traditional Camp

Team leaders: Olive Morland    

Geographical scope: Whitehorse, Yukon

N’’tsaÜw Chu’ Kedts’edán Kù Traditional Camp aims to build a traditional camp on the Porter Creek Secondary School (PCSS) campus, helping the school and the greater community to engage in authentic cultural programming. The camp will build capacity in educators and help students see themselves and their cultural teachings as valued. While other schools have fire pits and outdoor classroom spaces, no other school in Whitehorse has the infrastructure and plan to develop the in-depth cultural programming that PCSS could provide when this traditional camp is complete. 

Northern Games Youth Collaboration “Inuvialuit Piuyausiq”

Team leader: Tamara Voudrach

Geographical scope: Inuvialuit Settlement Region

While preparing for a large Circumpolar Northern Games event in Inuvik and in light of mental health and spiritual crisis in many northern communities, Northern Games Youth Collaboration “Inuvialuit Piuyausiq” proposes to hold a Northern Youth Development program in Tuktoyaktuk, helping to develop and build on the next generation of leaders promoting healthy activity and cultural connectedness by focusing on mentoring youth and highlighting volunteerism.  

Nunavut Youth Creative Collective

Team leader: Macintosh Pavia

Geographic scope: Iqaluit, Nunavut

There is currently only a small collection of digital assets that represent Inuit in Nunavut and their lifestyle. This small collection of digital assets is well used, resulting in seeing the same images over and over in campaigns targeting Inuit. The Nunavut Youth Creative Collective is an agency that proposes working as a social enterprise to increase Inuit representation in advertising, media and other digital forms like social media and website design. The Nunavut Youth Creative Collective would also look to the communities to hire creative talent among youth community members that cannot find meaningful work in their chosen field without having to leave their homes. 

The three Regional Selection Committees for Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Inuit Nunangat, comprised of Northerners representing diverse sectors and communities, reviewed and selected Finalists from their regions. The Finalists will go to the AIP’s National Selection Committee, who will select and announce the Laureates at the AIP’s 11th Annual Awards Ceremony, to be held on February 8, 2023 in Ottawa alongside the Northern Lights Business and Cultural Showcase.

For media requests:
Allison MacLachlan
Arctic Inspiration Prize
https://arcticinspirationprize.ca/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/©[email protected]

Press release in Inuktitut is here.